The Elite Physique

Carbing-Up on Contest Day [Tricks]

Here are the Tricks for Carbing Up on Contest Day

a white potato for carbing up on contest day

Carbing-up on contest day can be a tricky thing if you are not careful.  The day before, and the day of your figure contest is obviously not the time to experiment with carbing-up.  A sweet potato can have a completely different effect on your body than a rice cake can.  It will benefit you greatly if you know how certain carbs responds to your body.  You can use this information to your advantage and use carbs to trick your body into pulling you in tight and hard with full muscle bellies on the day of your figure competition.

Carbing-Up Experimenting And Timing

One odd belief is to experiment with carbing-up tactics around 10 days out.  A little tip… This is a VERY bad time to experiment with carbs and carbing-up tactics.  When you are 10 days out you should be preparing your body for peak week.

days out to peak week scaleTake a quick look at how close 10 days is to your competition.  If you experiment with carbs 10 days out and they have a negative effect such as excessive bloating, you don’t have enough time to level out before you have to start your peak week prep.  If you experiment with carbing-up 10 days out and it impacts your physique in a negative way, you just blew your peak week.  Game over, sister.

When you are 21 days out you should have your mentality and diet nailed down solid.  The last 3 weeks is do-or-die.  Really.  There is no room for messing up and there’s no room for carb experimenting.

You have to realize that by the time you start peak week, the work is done.  You will not lose any more body fat the last 7 days.  Peak week is 100% dietary strategy to trick the body to hold a peak for a precise time for a very short amount of time.

Pancakes and Syrup Method for Carbing-Up on Contest Day

Carbing-up on contest day does have its advantages.  Many competitors like to follow-the-herd and do what the other athletes are doing.  One of these copycat methods is having a pancake with syrup on the morning of your contest.  Sure, this method will definitely work to fill out the muscles on a prepared and lean competitor, but this method is not for everyone; and I don’t recommend eating an entire pancake!stack of pancakes for carbing up for contest day

If you are not at your absolute leanest, having a pancake the morning of your show will do more damage than good.  Like what?  It can smooth you out and make you hold water on stage. You could be that soft squishy girl on stage.  Writer at,  Dr. Joe Klemczewski, states “For those who are that carb-sensitive, over-carbing is a train wreck.”  Your body fat has to be just right to use the pancake carbing-up method.

Haven’t quite hit your mark the morning of the show?  If this describes you, then carbing-up on contest day will vary to some degree.  There is a particular morning meal a competitor should use if they need to dry out and pull in harder, and it’s not carbing-up with the sinful goodies you see many of your idols doing.

As an added note… Your muscles will NOT continually peak after each meal when carbing up on contest day.  It’s impossible to peak more than once in a day.  A peak is a very short amount of time you can hold a finely-tuned condition.

Planet Fitness Carbing-Up Method

Can you guess what the Planet Fitness Carbing-Up Method is?  Yes, I coined that myself.  It’s eating PIZZA to fill out your muscles.  This is a tried-and-true method many competitors employ the night before their physique pizza

Does it work to pull an athlete in hard and tight for her competition?  Yes it does.  Do I recommend it for everyone? No I don’t.

I had an online client getting ready to hit the stage in 12 hours.  She sent me her pics.  She was tight, but her muscles were flat.  I suggested that she indulge in one piece of pizza to fill out her muscles.  She was in perfect condition to do so, and we actually needed and emergency tactic to wake up her muscles.  Pizza has the perfect combination of carbs, fat, and sodium to shock the body.

So, is the Planet Fitness Carbing-Up Method for everyone?  No, it’s not.  You have to have the right body fat and your muscles have to be depleted just enough for it even to work.

When To Experiment With Carbing-Up Methodsmad scientist on carbing up on contest day

So when do you actually experiment with carbing-up tactics and methods?  The answer is simple.  Experiment during your off-season.  That’s what an off-season is for.

If you want to move forward in competitions, place better, and win overall titles, you need to implement a rigid off-season of quality calories, anaerobic training, and testing carbs to see how your body responds to each type of carb.

Keep a nutrition log contest prep and off-season.  You’ll go further in doing so.  Off-season is such an important aspect, yet so overlooked. 🙁

The Most Important Aspect on Carbing-Up On Contest dayred arrow pointing down

Now that you understand the carbing-up process, some of the trickery used, why it’s used, and how it’s used you can have a better chance at placing. Keep in mind that the entire prep is a process.  You don’t start a diet and workout and lose weight the next day.  You plug-in the system and allow it to work.


What You MUST Know...

Peak week is just pulling everything in and it's a paced process as well.  Now, if you want to know how all those competitors look so great you can get in on the action.  Get my FREE Contest Prep Crash Course and start transforming as soon as this week.  Click the link below to get started...

Free Contest Prep Crash Course

Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT

What You MUST Know...

My name is Karen Sessions and I am a life-time natural female bodybuilder, multi-certified fitness instructor, author, specialist in performance nutrition, and a success coach. I've been in the fitness industry since 1988! I teach people Just Like You how to transform their bodies, get in shape, build muscle, lose fat and compete in Bodybuilding, Physique, and Figure Competitions. When you have the CORRECT information you can have total confidence and turn your dreams into reality... and I can help transform YOUR body. I have helped THOUSANDS of clients reach their goals and I can help you, too. Be sure to grab my free gift above so you can start moving toward your goal.

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